Na Pu´uwai, Inc. is a community-based Native Hawaiian organization on the island of Molokai, dedicated to the betterment of the health conditions of Native Hawaiians. It was founded in 1985 as an advisory committee to the Molokai Hearth Study in collaboration with the University of Hawaii, the World Health Organization and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. In September of 1986, Na Pu´uwai was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation with a Board of Directors comprised of Native Hawaiians under the leadership of Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli. 44% higher for heart disease
In 1987, in collaboration with the University of Oregon,
Na Pu´uwai conducted the Ho´oke ´Ai--Molokai Diet Study which laid the foundation, and served as the catalyst to renewed interest in the benefits of the traditional Hawaiian Diet.
The results of these research projects and the ongoing information that Na Pu´uwai has gathered through the Cardiovascular Risk Clinics, have had a major impact on the understanding and management of risk factors and cultural barriers affecting the health conditions of Native Hawaiians. The Molokai Diet study has served as a model for current traditional Hawaiian Diet Programs such as the Waianae Diet Program and the Waimea Diet Program.
Today there are approximately 200,000 Native Hawaiians, of which less than 4% are Pure Hawaiians. As the indigenous population Hawaii, we are faced with many health problems and die at a rate higher than the other race and ethnic groups in Hawaii and the United States.
When compared to the U.S., all race population, Native Hawaiians have death rates:
39% higher for cancer
31% higher for strokes and
196% higher for diabetes
For pure Hawaiians, the situation is worse.